Walking into Silence

We are forever writing our inner commentaries on everything, commentaries that always reach the same practiced conclusions In the beginning of my walks silence only broke through in patches. Although the forests and fields were free of human noise my own thoughts and worries still crowded in. Most of my thinking in the early stagesContinue reading “Walking into Silence”

Solitude and Loneliness

The dynamic of loneliness is resistance (something is wrong here), whereas the dynamic of solitude is acceptance As I walked the first day from Le Puy-en-Velay in 2018, I remembered solitude. Sarah Bachelard makes a key distinction between solitude and loneliness: “The dynamic of loneliness is resistance (something is wrong here), whereas the dynamic ofContinue reading “Solitude and Loneliness”

Effort and grace

Effort readies us for grace, as grace can never be planned for or willed to appear, only entered Stillness is illuminated by movement. I discovered that the more strenuous the movement the greater the sensation of stillness when I paused. Pausing after walking, and especially after climbing, allowed me to truly see what was beforeContinue reading “Effort and grace”

Stilled again

Yet sometimes it’s only through extended stillness or exhaustion that we finally stop and go clear like water. When stilled of all that stirs us, we can see what is life-giving. The huge dorm behind the cathedral in Conques, France, was reminiscent of many of the Spanish albergues and monasteries on the Camino Frances. ManyContinue reading “Stilled again”

Walking, listening, pausing

We practice presence so that we might cultivate our ability to really hear the voice of nature speaking to us This morning my pre-ordered copy of Christine Valter-Paintner’s new book “Earth, Our Original Monastery” arrived on my Kindle. In the very first chapter she advises getting out in nature, “simply walking, listening, and pausing”. OfContinue reading “Walking, listening, pausing”

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